VICE President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has asked referees not to compromise on rules and regulations that govern the game of football.
“Violating such international rules by referees, will make the players ignorant of their existence and get unduly penalised during international competitions”, he added.
Addressing guests at the third GFA/PLB Awards Night held last Friday at the Round Pavillion of the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre (GITFC), Alhaji Mahama noted that it was in appreciation of this international sports convention that government spared no effort to improve sporting infrastructure in the country.
According to the Vice President, recipient of a special award from the FA, football, aside its business aspect, is also a tool to raise the international profile of nations.
He said that whilst clubs and individual players make fortunes from transfers, television and gate proceeds and merchandise sales, a successful nation stands to benefit from tourism, infrastructural development, employment as well as high level of patriotism.
“As a result of our World Cup appearance, the Black Stars earned appearance fees and attracted higher amounts of sponsorship,” adding that 'football time is the only time Ghanaians agree about everything”.
However, these gains, he said, look threatened in the manner in which match officials handle football matches.
The vice president noted that compromising the rules of football would rather cause the nation harm as it stands to expose the ignorance of players who would get penalised in high profile tournaments.
Owing to the huge potential of football, the vice president expressed the need to practice a high standard to develop the game to the highest level.
It is in this light, he stressed, government has spared no effort to the improvement of infrastructure, citing the newly built Tamale Sports Stadium as a demonstration of government's commitment to develop the sport.
“That investment notwithstanding, more remains to be done but government cannot do it alone”, he said.
To this end, he urged the GFA and the leadership of the various sports associations to consider innovative ways of maximising revenue in order to support the development and growth of football.
“Such an approach will result in a win-win situation for all parties involved”, he added.
Chairman of the function, King Tackie Tawiah III, on his part, appealed to the FA to build a stronger second tier league to feed the premiership with stronger clubs.
As a game that ignites passion, the king of the Ga State, commended the PLB and FA for making a night that seeks to reward football excellence a reality.